1. I am very excited about Vidcon, and I hope that everyone has a ton of fun. Yay Vidcon and yay to Hank for creating it and bringing it to life.
2. Quick reminder: I have anxiety problems that make it difficult for me to handle the pressure of, like, being in a room of 6,000 people, let alone having one or several of those 6,000 people talk to me.
2a. This is not something I particularly like talking about, because A. I’m a bit embarrassed about it, and B. it’s private, and C. the phrase anxiety disorder is thrown around so much that it has lot a lot of its meaning.
3. I go to therapy and take medication to help me manage this condition, and it is not (at least these days!) paralyzing at all. Like, I am very comfortable leaving the house; I am even quite comfortable when nerdfighters recognize me at Target or something and say hi. (That’s nice! Feel free!) I can meet people without having panic attacks, etc. These things exist on a spectrum, and I’m lucky to be relatively healthy.
3. That said, I do sometimes have panic attacks which can be kind of debilitating, and that’s not something I want to happen at Vidcon, because then I wouldn’t be able to do all the stuff I have to do. To minimize the chance of that happening, one has to sort of know one’s boundaries, which is why, for instance, if you ask me for a hug, I will probably say no. (The idea of hugging a stranger is frankly pretty terrifying to me.) It’s also why I may seem awkward or distant (or just extremely anxious) if you run into me on the elevator or whatever. Meeting one nerdfighter in Costco is a very different input to my nervous system than meeting thousands of nerdfighters at Vidcon.
4. Lots of people have said in the past that meeting me at a signing or whatever is disappointing or unpleasant because I clearly struggle to connect in the way I would like to connect with you. There are a lot of reasons for this—anxiety is one but probably a bigger one is that when there are many people in a line I want to be nice to the people standing in the back of that line as well as the people standing in the front of it. This may be especially the case at Vidcon, where things are very tightly scheduled and there are 6,000+ attendees.
5. So if you don’t meet me, or you do meet me and I’m an asshat, or you only see me at a great distance and I appear to be shaking like a dove giving birth, please know that none of this is a reflection on you.
All this noted, I am really looking forward to Vidcon, and I think it will be—as it has been the past two years—an amazing weekend of YouTube existing IRL.
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